During a recent presentation at Moen Incorporated’s INSPIRE Design Seminar, leading consumer trends advisory firm Iconoculture discussed its consumer outlook for the home. New research shows that consumers are willing to go green and are becoming tech-savvy.

Leading the way in the emerging sustainability trend are so-called “LOHAS,” or Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability consumers ― first-time homeowners and empty-nesters. However, according to Timothy Henderson, Iconoculture senior director and consumer strategist, going green is not just a fad among elite environmentalists. 

“Twenty years from now, people will expect to find environmentally responsible, sustainable products,” said Henderson. 

Also, technology is the home consumer’s new best friend. From “smart homes” that offer homeowners the convenience to control appliances, sprinklers, security systems, curtains and media components from a single-touch panel to “intelligent homes” that monitor what the consumer is doing and use this information to set preferences from a secure server, home technology is available at many different levels. 

Leading the tech-savvy home trend are working families, older adults looking to upgrade their current home and those with multiple homes. These groups rely on the convenience of technology to simplify their lives. Outside of these demographic hotspots, popular tech choices making their way into the mainstream include virtual photo storage, smart appliances and furniture and fixtures embedded with technology, like ShowHouse® by Moen’s new hands-free electronic Destiny™ faucet, featuring clean, minimalist styling and a sheeting water flow.

According to Nissa Hanna, Iconoculture associate director and consumer strategist, the trend toward “design therapy” is “more about appreciation of good design, not just for the sake of good design, but for better living.”

Hanna explained that today’s design is all about experience – aspiring to create customized comfort and functionality. Among those leading the trend toward extreme home personalization are multigenerational home dwellers needing both common and personal space, Generation X “blenders” who mix work and life, home artisans, young cosmopolitan consumers and empty nesters.

Beyond current trends, Iconoculture experts put several items on their watch list for the future. Trends to watch among seniors, the fastest growing segment of the population, include “aging in place,” rejecting the idea of a retirement community to continue living in the traditional home; and “luxe retirement,” redefining retirement with luxuries such as multiple homes and extra spending money. 

When it comes to where Americans live, the trend is either toward tall or sprawl ― consumers are choosing to pile into urban environments where everything is at your doorstep or spreading out into more rural areas to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Also on the home trend horizon, Hanna discussed the concept of the “healthy home – a home that does not contribute to air pollution.” She also talked about home as fashion, where design is much more fluid, interchanging high- and low-end pieces that don’t necessarily match, to get an eclectic and inspired look. 

According to Moen, today’s trends are all about improving the home and ensuring a better tomorrow for consumers, their families and the world. When taking on a home renovation/updating project, design carefully, the company says. “Make it smart and sustainable to improve the quality of life for years to come.”